Cultural Protocols 

The Town of Victoria Park recognises that Noongar people are core to the Town's identity. It is vital therefore that Noongar culture and Noongar country are recognised, acknowledged, and celebrated at every appropriate occasion.

One of the ways the Town is committed to doing so is through demonstrating respect by the implementation of cultural protocols at all Town meetings, events and town led public gatherings.

In the process of doing so, it is important to not engage in ‘re-colonisation’ but wherever possible seek advice and leadership from Noongar people on cultural matters. It is the right of Noongar people to protect culture, and as such, all displays and reproductions of culturally significant information and representation must be discussed in consultation with Noongar leaders and/or relevant cultural groups (i.e. photos, video, text, and artworks by or of Noongar people).

Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country ceremony is described by the Southwest Aboriginal Land & Sea Council as an: “acknowledgment and recognition of the rights of Noongar people’s traditional country”.

Only an Aboriginal elder whose country it is, can conduct a Welcome to Country. For example, only a Whadjuk Noongar elder can conduct a Welcome to Country on Whadjuk Noongar land. A Welcome to Country must be first in the order of proceedings at any Town event, before any other formalities or introductions. A Welcome to Country is a profound recognition that we are gathered on Aboriginal land.

At any significant event or gathering in the Town it is important to, where possible, engage a Noongar elder to deliver a Welcome to Country.  If it is not possible for a Whadjuk Noongar leader to conduct a Welcome to Country ceremony, alternatively an Acknowledgement of Country is to be communicated by the spokesperson of the event or gathering.

For information on Welcome to Country, or to get in contact with a Whadjuk Noongar elder, please contact the Southwest Aboriginal Land and Sea Council

Acknowledgement of Country

An Acknowledgement of Country is a way for non-Aboriginal people to show respect and understanding of Noongar people, their connection to the land, and to acknowledge the enduring connection and relationship with country that exists for Aboriginal people.

Usually, the leader of a small community group, (chairperson of a meeting, principal speaker of a forum, opening address at a council gathering), communicates an Acknowledgment of Country prior to the event proceeding.  In the context of the Town of Victoria Park this statement acknowledges, publicly, that the meeting/event is taking place on Whadjuk Noongar land, and that Whadjuk Noongar people are the traditional custodians of the land.

An Acknowledgment should always pay respect to the traditional custodians of this country and the way they have, through inter-generational wisdom, cared for this country. It is important however to authentically speak to an Acknowledgment, a ‘script’ therefore is not encouraged. It is more powerful if each speaker engages with this in their own way.

The Town of Victoria Park and the Mindeera Advisory Group recommend the following as a baseline for Acknowledgement of Country at community meetings and gatherings. 

Ngany kaaditj Noongar moort keny kaadak nidja Wadjak Noongar boodja. Ngany kaaditj nidja Noongar birdiya – koora, ye-ye, boorda, baalapiny moorditj Noongar kaadijtin, moort, wer boodja ye-ye.  

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and respect all past, present and emerging leaders, their continuing cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land, which continues to be important today.  

Note alternative spellings:

  • Whadjuk/Wadjak
  • Noongar/Nyoongar/Nyungar 

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